- 1 Introduction
- 2 Canon Information
- 3 Scenarios
- 3.1 A New Hope
- 3.2 Basic Tutorial
- 3.3 His Master's Voice
- 3.4 Holy Lands
- 3.5 Hungry Children
- 3.6 Jewels of the Crown
- 3.7 Land Grab
- 3.8 Lords of a Broken Empire
- 3.9 Progression Wars
- 3.10 The Antiquarians
- 3.11 The End Of Flesh
- 3.12 The Gathering
- 3.13 Tourney Space
- 3.14 Upstart Apes
- 4 Forum Links
SotS is meant to be a wargame but not an RPG, so there is no overarching campaign. However, five scenarios were included in the initial game release, with at least two more being added in the First Expansion. More scenarios are being worked on for inclusion in further expansion packs or possibly as freebies, such as the Tourney Space scenario added in the 1.2.1 update. All scenarios can be played multiplayer with any combination of players and AI taking up the playable slots, though not all slots will by playable in all scenarios. Some scenarios will allow alliances, some do not and others virtually demand co-op play if you want to survive.
The various scenarios suit one background story or another and are more akin to "The War of 1812" or "The Solomons Campaign" where you control all aspects of the war, as opposed to a series of missions where you harvest resources. Expect to see story elements show up in various set scenario maps.
Pre-set scenarios will often induce specific behaviors or advantages to an AI side that will make them more of a challenge than even the actual setting, such as other races starting with a higher technology level or larger numbers of ships and/or systems than yourself.
Some of the scenarios will have specific victory condition that fit the "historical" storyline of the scenario. For example, you must defend your homeworld for X number of years or Find the Hiver Queen egg. Others are set up to provide a unique challenge, such as a scenario in which you, as the Humans, would have to track down the particular dreadnought and the other ships of the Hiver nesting fleet that attacked Earth in the opening cinematic and destroy them. In another, you play as either the Humans, the Liir or the Tarkas and you must survive and fight back against a MASSIVE Hiver invasion fleet coming from off board and rolling across the map towards everyone. In certain scenarios the force attack will be disabled, in others the AI will be tactically unbeatable, requiring some different method to win.
The scenario set of maps will have random planet values and usually at least 2 sides for you to choose to play as. Think of the random setup game as being the "everything balanced at zero" start game, whereas the scenarios are very "historical" in nature and hence Kerberos has no great compunction to be "fair" with them. Expect a wide range of challenges.
Kerberos is intending to release some of the tools used to create the game for use in creating scenarios similar to those that will be in the game at its release. Final word on the toolkit belongs with the publisher.
Scenarios in the game represent moments of crisis and potential. Sometimes they are canonical events, but in other cases you are dealing with worst case scenarios that never came to pass in the canon universe, because they were averted.
"The Jewels of the Crown" is a scenario based on the events at the end of the Hiver Interregnum, just before Radiant Frost was restored to the throne. "The Hungry Children" is a scenario based on the mathematical projections worked out by SolForce and the Tarka when they realized that a star in Hiver space had become unstable.
"A New Hope" is based on a schism in the Human empire which never took place, while "Upstart Apes" models the early days of Human-Tarka relations and "Lords of a Broken Empire" is a model of the Tarka restoration period.
"The Gathering" is modeled on the formation of a new Morrigi federation. "His Master's Voice" is a scenario modeled on the Zuul experience of The Great Silence, and "The Antiquarians" is based on canonical events immediately preceding SotS ][. "End of Flesh" is a model of the first outbreak of AI rebellion, and the universal uprising of silicon slaves.
Timeline of the events that are canonical, or simulations of potential events that were averted in canon history (things which have the same basic number occur during the same 30-50 year period):
1. "Jewels of the Crown"
2a. "Upstart Apes"
2b. "Lords of a Broken Empire"
3a. "The Hungry Children"
3b. "A New Hope"
3c. "His Master's Voice"
4. "The End of Flesh"
5. "The Gathering
6. "The Antiquarians"
A New Hope
The Frontier Alliance attempts to split away from the militaristic bonds of SolForce. Earth rejects their claim to sovereignty and uses force to retrieve the wayward colonies. It would be a simple job, if it weren’t for the three alien races looking to exploit the division of the human race, and form alliances with the new human faction.
- The Frontier Alliance: In order to win, the Frontier Alliance must maintain at least three worlds for 150 turns or capture Earth itself.
- SolForce: SolForce wins if it can capture all Frontier worlds.
- Liir / Hiver / Tarkas: Players may not play as the Liir/Hivers/Tarkas.
There are no special rules for this Scenario.
Welcome to the Sword of the Stars tutorial! Sword of the Stars is easy to learn, but a challenge to master. In this tutorial we will introduce you the essentials of how to play the game — once you understand them, it doesn’t take long before you’re comfortably playing. Advanced instructions on how to play the game can be found in the manual — take a moment to have a look through it. This tutorial will introduce you to the basics of the game, but the manual will take you through the game in detail.
To start this tutorial game, click “Create Game” below and you will be taken to the game lobby. There, you can set your game profile — name, race, avatars, badges, and player color. Depending on how brave you are feeling, you can include up to three AI players (click on an AI’s box to activate them).
As a first time player, we recommend you play as any race but the Hivers — you can try them out later, when you’re more comfortable with the game, as their method of moving between the stars is extremely powerful and unique — better to have some basic practice with the game first.
Ready? Then start the game — once you begin, a tutorial panel will appear to the right which you can refer to as often as you like.
The tutorial game is a simple, random map and the goal is to conquer! Either way, the strategy portion of Sword of the Stars is turn-based, which means you will have lots of time to play with the game controls before you ever commit to your first turn. Beat your opponent and the galaxy is yours!
There are no special rules to this tutorial scenario, though you will have access to a special “Basics” window, which will provide helpful information on playing Sword of the Stars. This window can be expanded and collapsed using the arrow on its left edge.
If you find there is something you do not understand, a complete guide to every aspect to the game can be found in the manual.
His Master's Voice
Added by the Born of Blood expansion.
The ache to reconnect with The Great Masters burns inside you until you cannot stand it. At first your heard rumors of artifacts of The Great Masters. Then tangible facts were pulled from the minds of heretic slaves. Now you feel you are ready to act. You must follow the clues, wherever they are, and from them come that much closer to the gods.
Follow the objectives list to the location of the next clue, cleanse it of the heretics, and colonize it.
This is a Zuul single player scenario where the player has to infiltrate, understand and take over the homeworld of each of the other four races in order to find clues that may lead you to artifacts of the Great Masters. After encountering each race, research the first Language Tech of that race to learn the name and location of the relevant homeworld. Establishing a colony on each of the other four races' homeworld wins the game.
The clues must be assembled in order. As one objective is completed, the next will appear in the Objectives list.
Every sentient species has its own political aims and agendas — but they also have religious beliefs, and a sense of the sacred. The idea that a certain place is holy is universal among all races — and so is the notion of the spiritual pilgrimage.
At the beginning of the scenario, each player will be given the name and location of a holy place. You must go to this place and form a colony; when you have communed with this sacred planet, the name and location of the next holy planet on your spiritual path will be revealed. This will continue until you have built colonies on five sacred worlds; to win the game, you must hold these holy lands for ten turns.
1) Opponents will not be made aware of what planet's are on any other player's list.
The Hivers have lost their home. The Queen’s homeworld and all Her original colonies are gone, destroyed by a sun gone supernova. Rather than accept a quick death for Her Children, the Queen used the last of Her resources to gather ships and provisions for dozens of Her strongest daughters, and is now leading them into the farthest reaches of space to conquer new lands and form a new Hiver Imperium.
Hundreds of Hiver ships are coming, organized into dozens of fleets; they must colonize new worlds or face slow death in the void. Can the other three races beat back the Hiver incursion before they become entrenched on new worlds, and turn into an unstoppable force?
- Human / Liir / Tarkas: Defeat the Hiver fleets.
- Hiver: Conquer the galaxy.
1) Hiver player does pay for fleet maintenance for initial ships, but starts with a large purse. The Hivers must get a foothold before they run out of cash.
2) Hiver player does not pay for colony development for the first 100 turns.
This Scenario virtually demands co-op play if you want to survive.
Jewels of the Crown
Hivers attack all comers in their genocidal fury. The Hiver Queen has died and her precious royal gems have gone missing. A faction has secreted the crown jewels on a hidden world, somewhere on the map. Without the crown jewels, no princess can become Queen—and the entire Hiver race has now become a headless giant, lashing out madly in all directions.
- Human: Hold on to the Jewels long enough to complete a special research project.
- Tarkas: Deliver the Jewels to your Homeworld and hold them there for 10 turns.
- Liir: Deliver the Jewels to the Hiver Homeworld.
- Hivers: Players may not play as the Hivers.
There are no special rules for this Scenario.
A Deep Scan ship must be present to reveal the precise location of the Jewels at a system, or onboard another player's ship. A Repair and Salvage ship must be present to retrieve the Jewels from a system when the Deep Scan reveals their location.
Added by the Argos Naval Yard expansion.
Destruction of your enemies is not the only path to victory. Control enough land, and they will submit.
For eight players. Originally 3 fixed size maps to choose from, now map size and shape are selectable.
Build an empire 150% the size of all other empires combined, and hold it for 10 turns to achieve victory. (150% is the default, and can be adjusted with the 'Win Ratio' slider.)
Until turn 50, victory can only be achieved by elimination of players.
Lords of a Broken Empire
Added by the Born of Blood expansion.
The Emperor is dead - the Hanakuum needs a new, strong Var’Bente to rise up and unite the colony worlds before everything shatters to pieces. You are the Var’Kona of one of the three strongest provincial territories. You must dominate the other two, while dealing with the gutter trash, upstart colonies at the outer edges of Tarkan space. And if times were not interesting enough, there have been reports of raiding parties on Tarka colonies, and Tarka citizens reported missing...
There is only one objective in this scenario. Rule or perish.
This is a 3-player scenario revolving around a Tarkan civil war with three contenders for the emperor's chair. The empire has splintered into seven separate Tarkan empires and all are being harassed by a Zuul presence taking advantage of the chaos. Whoever can ally with the most factions and defeat the Zuul incursion is crowned Emperor.
You must bring the 4 unaligned splinters of the empire under your control while fending off 2 other contenders for the crown. But don’t let the Zuul grow to strong, or you will have no Empire to claim.
Added by the A Murder of Crows expansion.
Dominating a galaxy is one thing – but what about the universe? The challenge of Progression Wars is unique – build up your presence in a small galaxy as normal, but be prepared to send a fleet to the galaxy next door and start the process all over again. Your fleet will grow in strength of design and your bring some of your previous technology and money with you, but your opponents will get harder and harder. How long can you survive?!
There is no objective, other than staying alive.
You will have to prepare a fleet to act as a multi-generational convoy to the next galaxy – watch for the warning and be ready to act.
”The game just kept getting harder and faster and until you died. Just like life! Those video games built character, Sonny Jim!” -Ernie Cline, “When I Was A Kid”
Build, expand, conquer as normal, and then get ready to move on and do it again.
You have a set number of turns per map to build up your empire, money, technology and ships. You will be warned before the turn limit is up – build your best fleet at your homeworld. That fleet will strike out as a generational fleet, traveling to the next nearest galaxy. That fleet will start with a percentage of your last empire's money and all but some of your top-tier technologies. But beware, your opposition will not be a pushover.
IMPORTANT: It should go without saying, but multiple generations is a long time traveling to discover you didn't bring a colony ship. Make sure your generational fleet has at least one colony ship. More would be wiser.
Added by the 1.8.0 update.
With the morning’s intelligence report it has become clear; the race is on. It has been confirmed that enemy scientists have been thinking along the same lines as your own – the ruined, yet half-operational derelicts found from time to time, suggest a larger whole, and if enough of them can be found and collected, the thinkers believe they can put them back together again. Imagine the possibilities of possessing a fully operational, exotic alien technology! Hunt the derelicts down and bring them to the Homeworld for study. Do NOT let them fall into the hands of the other empires!
Bring all of the artifacts to your homeworld for analysis.
An artifact can only be retrieved by a Repair and Salvage ship, and only if it is uncontested.
An artifact is contested if:
- Enemy ships are nearby.
- More than one player has a Repair and Salvage ship.
The End Of Flesh
An AI rebellion has been loosed upon the galaxy, now the 6 races, former foes at one time or another, must band together in order to fight the merciless children of their own technology.
This is a fight to the death between flesh and machine for the the future of the galaxy. For the living, there can be only victory or extinction.
One organic team composed of 6 players VS the AI Rebellion formed of 6 united AI rebels, one from each of the species of the organic team. It takes place on the Rift map.
All teams start at Fusion-era tech. The Artificial Intelligence is already researched, and a global AI rebellion locks benefits from that tree (unless AI Slaves is researched). AI Virus doesn't destroy the enemy, but it still damages ships encountered during combat.
Added by the A Murder of Crows expansion.
For centuries the thinkers, the spiritual, the philosophical have tried to tell us the secret – we are stronger together than we are apart. The path to galactic peace lies in unity! And to that end, you must be the first to attract civilians from the various races and unite them in harmony!
The main objective is to acquire civilians from the various races. Force should be applied carefully, as the game ends in failure for all if any one empire is destroyed!
There are no rules, other than “Do not eliminate other empires.” How can there be true unity without all of the races of the galaxy?
Added by the 1.2.1 update.
Welcome to the SolForce competition simulator. This is where students can test their skills with each other on a relatively level playing field lacking many of the X-Factors more advanced officer candidates are trained to expect and counter.
Defeat all enemy players.
The following constraints have been imposed on the simulated galaxy.
1) 4 players maximum.
2) 60 stars.
3) All players will play the same race selected by the Game Master.
4) Climate hazard for systems is 200 for every player.
5) Players will have access to all technologies for their species.
6) All planet sizes are 6-8 (excluding home systems, which are 10).
7) Distance between stars is 5-6 ly.
8) Random Events are off.
Throwing off the lingering effects of the Hiver attack, the human race steps cautiously away from their homeworld — and runs straight into the arms of the ancient and decadent Tarka Imperium. The scrappy humans will have to learn fast and be exceptionally clever in order to carve their own colonies from the far-flung outposts of an older empire — while the Tarka commander must balance the needs and demands of the great Imperium against his new problem with this upstart race of talking monkeys!
- Human: Build an empire of at least 10 worlds and hold them for 20 turns.
- Tarkas: Conquer Earth and hold for 10 turns.
1) Tarkas player researches at 1/50 normal speed.
2) The Tarkas player can go as deep into debt as they wish, but for every 100K of debt, there is a 2% chance of the Tarka commander being “recalled to capital” to answer for mismanagement - if this happens, they have lost the game.
3) Based on the changing whims of the Tarkas Emperor, limitations on what can be built and demands on how ships can be used will be made. The Tarkas commander will have to be resourceful.